The movie doesn’t open until Friday, but fans of Zack Snyder’s Watchmen are already trying to breaking box office records with advance ticket sales, outpacing 2007’s blockbuster 300 4-to-1 at the same point in the sales cycle.
According to MovieTickets.com, a leading site in advance movie ticketing, ticket sales for Watchmen doubled Sunday to Monday, with IMAX purchases accounting for one third of all sales.
“The true test for Watchmen will be how it performs later this week,” says Joel Cohen, executive vice president and general manager for MovieTickets.com. “We sold more than 80 percent of our advance ticket sales for 300 the Wednesday and Thursday prior to its release. It will be interesting to see if Watchmen displays a similar pattern.”
300, Snyder’s last film, holds the record for having the highest grossing March opening in box office history with $70.9 million in its first three days, as well as having the third highest grossing start for an R-rated film. If the advance ticket sale numbers are any indication, Watchmen could stand to best those records.
But the true test for Watchmen will come in the weeks after its opening. While fans of the graphic novel will help make the film a top grosser on opening weekend, bad buzz from print and online movie critics and a running time close to three hours may pose problematic when trying to court a broader, more mainstream audience.
To date, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith is MovieTickets.com’s top pre-seller of all-time.